Renesas Electronics Corporation

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Industry sector: Semiconductors

Renesas emerged in its current incarnation in 2010 through the combination of NEC Electronics and Renesas Technology. It is a leading global player in the manufacture of microcontrollers for car information systems and industrial equipment, and semiconductors for mobile phones. Its 2010 decision to license some of its 40,000-plus patents to US NPE Acacia Research was a bold move for a Japanese company and illustrated its progressive approach to monetisation – a goal that became even more urgent in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake, which prompted Renesas to restructure its business and realise the value locked up in its IP assets. The result was a decision to refocus on core lines and divest its wireless modem subsidiary, Renesas Mobile. Within three months, the company had found a buyer: in September 2013, renowned wireless chip maker Broadcom announced a $164 million deal to purchase the subsidiary and its valuable 4G LTE assets. Last July’s announcement that Renesas would expand its partnership with Acacia signalled that the chipmaker’s forward-thinking IP strategy is paying off.